Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

Follow the North Star: Inuit Art from the Collection of Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh

Kenojuak Ashevak Summer Owl Follow the North Star
Summer Owl by Kenojuak Ashevak (Canadian (Inuit), 1927–2013) Inuit, 1975. Stonecut and stencil Collection of Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh, Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Opening on the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, this exhibition presents a selection of Inuit prints from the collection of renowned portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh and his wife Estrellita, both longtime supporters of the MFA. Included are works by key Inuit artists such as Kenojuak Ashevak, Agnes Nanogak, Jessie Oonark, Pudlo Pudlat and Lucy Qinnuayuak. The prints come largely from the printmaking cooperative at Cape Dorset, north of Hudson Bay, where printmaking was introduced around 1959. Most are stone-cuts, handprinted from blocks of soapstone in which the images are carved in relief. The works are organized thematically, with sections focusing on family and daily life; hunting; shamans and myths; and tradition and the incursion of the modern world. In addition to the prints, the exhibition features a number of small-scale sculptures, and is accompanied by a visitor guide, available for free in the gallery. “Follow the North Star: Inuit Art from the Collection of Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh” is supported by TD Bank. Additional support from the Consulate General of Canada in Boston.

The exhibition is on view from July 1 – December 31, 2017.

See Karsh’s portrait of the artist Kenojuak Ashevak.